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Genetic variations may increase risk of prostate cancer

Category: Prostate

Recent findings of genetic variations that lead to certain types of tumor growth may lead to more effective prostate cancer testing in the future, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers found that genetic variations may impede the function of the enzyme phosphodiesterase 11A (PDE11A), which is critical to cellular responses to hormones. This lack of hormonal regulation may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

For the study, investigators examined tissue samples from 50 men who were being treated for prostate cancer and 287 cancer free men. They found that men with prostate cancer were nearly four times more likely to have the specific genetic variation than healthy men.

"Our study indicates that PDE11A one day may have a place in genetic screening for predisposition to prostate cancer," said Constantine Stratakis, who led the study, adding that improved testing could greatly decrease the number of deaths from prostate cancer.

Despite the fact that prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death among men, it is relatively easy to cure when it is diagnosed at an early stage.

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